Sunday, April 3, 2011

And now for something completely different...

I interrupt this knitting/quilting blog for a story of a strange and completely random event.

It started for me on Friday when I got almost 4,000 emails1 from youtube containing comments from the two videos I uploaded for a recent post. I had thought of youtube as merely a video hosting site for my blog, not counting on any attention from anyone else and was not expecting any comments.

I assumed they were all spam but something didn't sit right. For one thing, there were no links in the comments or advertising for any kind of questionable services or products. And it was pretty obvious that although some of them were inane, whoever was making the comments had actually watched the video.

Besides turning off the youtube email notification feature, I didn't pursue the matter any further. Next time I had to upload a video, I would think twice about using youtube, however!!

Last week's blog statistics
Then over the weekend, I started looking at the site statistics for my blog for some reason. On Friday, the number of views went from an average of about 20 per day to 871. That's a big jump--what was going on??

Now, I have no idea how I found the answer, but the answer was that my video had been chosen for an April Fool's joke!! A group on reddit2 had decided to pick a video to make a "superstar." They wanted to all watch the same video to increase its statistics and make the world wonder why such a boring would be so popular. Yeah, that's was the real key--it had to be a boring video. Really boring.

It was very entertaining to read through the converstation on reddit about the prank. It took a little bit to piece it together, but this article sums it up nicely. (You'll notice I was the backup pick. Lots of drama and intrigue about the first pick that I won't even try to understand or explain.)

Here are some snippets from the conversation that Troy and I had fun reading through on Saturday night:
-A day of random voting on Youtube videos? sets work to the side I'm in.

-So glad you did this to an actual random person. It's like the original Youtube April Fool's video was actually an April Fool's joke on Redditors. Boooo.

-Yeah, I know. The others one's upload date was too close to April 1st, anyway. I thought the whole point was to make someone an overnight sensation? I mean, you could actually make this person an overnight sensation and her videos could permeate through the internet, and spread like wildfire making her the new Martha Stewart! [Who me??!]

-Poor choice IMHO. This video was FAR TOO INTERESTING. [Ahhh...thanks.]

-I have no idea what's going on. [That wasn't me. That was poster on reddit.]

-It was actually fascinating. I watched it twice.

-Watch it in "1911" mode. It multiplies its awesome by infinity. [A lot of people made the comment that it was better in 1911 mode. I, of course, couldn't figure out how to turn that on, but I gather it's a sepia version.]

-It's actually very relevant to my interests, since I'm a knitter and have never done an alternating double cast-on before. I'm totally watching the rest of her videos now. Wait, only two videos? I am disappointed now!

-Personally I liked her early stuff. She just started selling out by the time she released this video. Cast on for Double Knitting I was a masterpiece.

-I like this video better because it's more likely to be bought as earnestly "amazing" when it gets thousands of views. I want unsuspecting people to hop on the bandwagon and go "Holy shit that girl is incredibly talented!"

-If we can make a plug for knitting, I'm in. I am a knitter, and I found this video to be very helpful.

There were a number of comments about my voice. One person accused me of having a Wisconsin/Minnesota accent. No, for the record it's Canadian with a little Michigan thrown in.
-Personally I think this is a funnier video, too, with her NPR-like dictating "front of the blue ... pick up a white ... now go behind the white, pick up the blue ... in front of the blue, pick up the white ... behind the white, pick up the blue ..."

-I could swear the voice behind this "backup" video is that of a Redditor as well. She did some Lets Play videos for the Dwarf Fortress subreddit in the last, maybe, two months. [Umm, no.]

-She sounds pretty hot for someone into knitting...
     -Reply: There are some surprisingly hot knitters out there. Not sure why, but it's pretty popular with college aged girls. This comes from a college aged girl who managed avoid the allure.
          -Reply: As a hot college-aged female knitter... I'd say the allure is that it's easy (you basically learn to do one stitch, and do it over, and over again), keeps your hands occupied if you're fidgety, let's you make some awesome stuff for pretty cheap, and makes people jealous. When people see me knitting, they're always amazed and ask me to make them stuff.
               -Reply: I have a scarf and a hat a friend of mine made me a while back, which are both lovely. It would be nice if I could make stuff like that too. I just fail at anything crafty. Clumsy hands, I guess.

Comment about the set:
-That is some absolutely divine faux-wood paneling in the backdrop. [Yes, I know. I'm remodeling, ok?]

Then they found my blog (which also had a significantly higher number of comments, but thankfully not 4,000).
-I checked out HER BLOG! and the result from that knitting actually looks awesome! [Yeah, that's why it's called a Superscarf!]

-on her blog you can vote on whether you find her scarf "ooh lala" [They liked that one.]

-I was thinking about clicking an ad, just to make her day or something, but, after I disabled AdBlock, I was shocked to see that there are no ads in her blog. How is that even possible? O_o [Can you believe it? Some people actually blog to share information rather than posting content just to get people to their ads.]

I'd like to comment here that on top of getting 871 visitors to the blog, there were 1,329 page views. That means about half of the people who clicked on my blog actually looked at two pages. They were curious enough to look around. Take that, reddit!!

And of course then there was the "good" that will come out of all of this:
-I actually found this video useful (in all seriousness). I knit on occasion, and I had previously done my double knitting by casting on both colors together as if they were just one thread.

-For real- and I have the necessary tools for knitting in my house ... I feel like I just got pranked into finding a new hobby. JOKE'S ON YOU, INTERNET!

-Knitting is an excellent pick. I used youtube to learn how to knit.

-It's also a really good cast on for a 2-color brioche stitch project! [Good idea! I hadn't thought of that.]

-now all my recommended videos are about knitting.

-Wait, this is actually helpful. Casting on is a lot more difficult than it looks. ..gets out my dusty yarn and needles I gave up on

-Naw, this is knitting instruction which is actually useful. Useful, that is, if you don't notice her screwing it up at the front of each yarngrab. [I did actually make a mistake on the second video which I think I covered quite smoothly. I am not sure what this person is talking about though.]

-Oh man she almost lost it in part II. I was at the edge of my seat! [Maybe this person saw the mistake...could it be?]

And of course there was the concern about whether I would notice. (A prank's no good if the person doesn't know, is it?)
-Wait, the creator of this video joined Youtube on March 20, 2011. She hasn't logged in, in 5 days (Presumably when she posted her videos). There does seem to be a chance that she'll never even see how popular her video's become.

-what if this woman quits her job to become a full-time youtuber as a result of this. did you think of that?

-What if this person does not use their computer tomorrow?

-I can't wait to see her response. [Here it is.]

-She logged in!!!
Last Visit Date:10 minutes ago [Yes, that was me turning off my email notification!!]

-This video is most popular with:
Gender Age
Male 13-17
Mission accomplished.

-Could we possibly try and stop the '[insert very rude comment here b/c I won't repeat it]' comments, and just enjoy a fun joke without upsetting and disgusting the nice knitting lady? I think these videos are great, but remember we are just messing with someone we don't know who did nothing to bring this upon herself except make some helpful videos for people learning to knit. Please show some respect.

-lmao this is why i love you Reddit, I can only imagine her reaction when she logs on and see's the ridiculousness [Ridiculousness was the exact word I used when explaining this to someone.]

As of the writing of this post, the first video has 156,993 views and over 10,500 likes and still climbing! (The views increased by almost 500 just in the time that it took me to write this post--which has been far too long!!) I don't know what the participants would judge a success, but they sure made a difference!! And yes, I did notice.

I had to laugh when someone explained that they had to watch the video all the way to the end for the "view" to count in the statistics. For someone not interested in starting a piece of double knitting, that's some real commitment to a prank!!

-Someone make an auto-tune response vid PLS@!1@

This request came up several times and someone did:
Ok, honestly, you did start laughing when you saw Bill Clinton didn't you!

Later I did a google search for "christinacreating" to see what came up now. I found this second thread on reddit. The woman posted:
She is a really good knitter! I'm actually going to genuinely save those instructions...
I don't know what to think of all the random comments that people have left on her youtube channel. It's funny, I hope she sees it that way too - but the kind of attention the internet throws out there can be scary as well.
Yes, I have to admit it's funny. And barring the offensive comments, pretty harmless. But a little scary too. Yes.

Last comment: im actually thinking about taking up knitting now.

My job is done.

clickety clack, the youtube sensation.
1 BTW, if you sent me an email on Friday and I haven't responded, it probably got deleted. I scanned through my delete screens, but I did not check 4,000 emails one by one. Try again, please.

2 reddit describes itself as "a source for what's new and popular online. Vote on links that you like or dislike and help decide what's popular, or submit your own!"
Wiki describes it as "a social news website owned by Conde Nast Digital on which users can post links to content on the Internet."


  1. As someone who participated in the prank from conception, to switching the video to your video, and then eagerly watched the views and likes climb, I'm happy to see you took the joke so well.

  2. I'm thrilled to be a friend to someone so famous! I'm going to save all the knitting you ever gave me and put it behind glass for when you get international. Then I'll pull it out and it will be worth millions. And I suppose I'll let you have some of the $. Ha ha. No seriously, you DO deserve to be famous for awesome knitting, but hopefully good famous! wb

  3. Welcome to Reddit! We would love to have you as a Redditor. We have a knitting sub-reddit, I am sure you would be a great contributor to that community.

  4. I'm glad to see this "prank" went off in such a good way and we got a recipient that's a)talented and deserving, and b) able to see it as just a harmless prank and enjoy it as such. If only the immature youtube commenters didn't follow along (is there a way to disable only their comments?) it would have been better, but all-in-all it was a rousing success.

  5. From all of us over at reddit, hey there! I got a kick out of reading your response, glad you took it so well! I would've participated, but, well...... I'm too lazy. Sad, right? Now if only someone would do that to my blog...... it'd make my day =P.

    All the best,

  6. Hey Christinacreating!
    I'm happy you enjoyed the "prank." Honestly, I must have watched your video 10 or 15 times. Also, the fact that you just simply ignore the slipknot from the get-go was... intriguing. Unfortunately I haven't the supplies for knitting at the moment, else I'd be attempting this.
    In any case, I subscribed to your YouTube channel. Looking forward to Cast-on 3!
    Keep on castin'.

  7. Christina,

    I watched your video as part of the "prank", but I also passed it along to my girlfriend who enjoys knitting and asked her to make me something using this technique. She is working on it, but won't let me see it yet. I'm quite excited, and thank you.



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